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Street Knowledge

Our resident editor shared some tips for surviving not just the Florentine heat but also how to stay safe when visiting the city.

Like any major tourist capital Florence has its fair share of petty crime, but remember that any advice given for Florence is just as valid for any other city which has an influx of tourists.

Heading out…

Only take the most important things with you out. That means, take credit-cards, and a little cash. Get rid of everything else in your wallet, whether its business cards, receipts, or family photos. Just leave it in your apartment. You’ll travel lighter too and with so much to see, every little helps.

Personally, if I’m somewhere new I split up my money – I leave a small amount in my wallet – in the unlikely event that I should get into trouble – and a larger amount in another secure area of my person. That way if I ever have my wallet stolen, I would have some reserve money to get me back home.

If you are carrying a handbag or ‘man-bag’, seal down straps so they don’t attract the attention of undesirables – if a bag strap looks sealed down securely it is less likely to draw the eye, compared to the same strap flailing in the wind!

Again, I always begin from the position that anything in my outside pockets is open for pick-pocketing. Think of it in this way and you’ll soon be able to work out how you can put the items around your body. Leaving a camera anywhere apart from around your neck, is just inviting trouble in my opinion. Tissues, bits of paper and leaflets that they handout all over the place announcing events, fine! A specific feature of Florence is that most of the tourist attractions involve looking up, so you spend less time looking about your vicinity.

Types of nuisances

You can find all varieties of undesirables within the city, from the effortless pick-pocket right the way up to more elaborate schemes involving signing up for petitions while being pick-pocketed at the same time.

If you ever get into trouble

In case you find yourself on the receiving end of a crime, the centre of town is populated local police, or you can call the Carabinieri on 112 or the Polizia on 113.

Please note, I’m not trying to scare you Florence is a beautiful city. This is based on living in popular tourist spots. In fact if you’re reading this and are from a main city or have a lot of tourists in your home town most of this list will probably sound like common sense. In my time in Florence, through high and low seasons, I’ve never had any complications whatsoever.

The following is a series of videos that provide some pleasing tips for travelling safely wherever you are in the World, in this case avoiding being caught out by restaurateurs that might attempt to charge you more than they should be. When the video is finished playing other videos will appear that can be browsed.

Video on Safety


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